BUFFALO, N.Y. –- Buffalo Sabres Lindy Ruff took a little verbal shot at Vladimir Sobotka on Thursday, saying the Bruins forward is ducking checks.
Sobotka has played well this series and it’s been obvious he’s been getting under the skin of the Sabres. He’s played physical and has done a very good job of avoiding hits.
“I’m not afraid of anything,” he said after this morning’s game-day skate. “I’m just trying to play hard and that’s part of my game.”
The grit and determination Sobotka has been playing with hasn’t gone unnoticed on either team, especially the Sabres. He even got into his first fight when he dropped the gloves with the Sabres’ Andrej Sekera in Game 2.
“I’m actually surprised that they’re coming for me,” Sobotka said. “They’re trying to hit me all the time and I’m just trying to play my way. I like it when someone hits me because I hit back. That’s hockey.”
Sobotka said he didn’t want to respond to Ruff’s statement, he just plans to take it out on the ice. As far as ducking checks, Sobotka says it’s just instinct to avoid getting hit, especially since he’s generously listed at 5-foot-10 and 183 pounds.
“If I see that I’ve got no chance to stand up the guy and he’s going to hit me and [possibly] hurt me, I’ll try to get out of the way, but it’s instinct when I see him coming and I duck. More times the guy is bigger than me, but if I know he’s going to hurt me, I’ll stay there.”